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Monday, September 20, 2021

Weekend of Quilts -


Where do I start with the recap of this weekend?

I can say that YES. It feels good to be making progress.

Baby steps will still move me forward.

And nothing has to happen immediately.

And all of this (and more that you can't see) was unloaded from the van to the living room floor where most of it is still sitting.

How EASY it is to get distracted, and spend too much time focusing on what to do with one insignificant thing.


This is the quilt that Sadie ate.

Sadie has been gone almost 2 years - she lived until she was 13.  And I've held on to this quilt for so long now. About 12 years. In this state.  

Click to Play:


I was supposed to be simply sorting quilts.  Which to keep, which to send to loved ones, which to donate.  But I became fixated on this one.

Because it seemed like the ultimate quilter's neglect.


It has spent the past 12 years FOLDED on a shelf with only the "good parts" visible as more of a home-dec item than anything else.  It looked good on the outside, from what you could see.  But it was broken inside.

How many of us feel that way from time to time?

The thought of cutting it apart, or appliqueing something over the holes to then give it away just seems like too much for me to handle at this time.

I don't want to make pillows from it. I don't want a table runner or a bag or a coat from it.


I think it is going to just go on the free table at Quiltville Inn in hopes that someone else will know just what to do.  

I need to send it on its way rather than spend more time on it. Somehow I think the biggest lesson I need to learn is simply HOW to LET GO. 

I came to that decision through the receipt of a wonderful email by someone I will leave unnamed, but I am thanking her forever in my heart.

Bonnie,

If we could sit on your porch over numerous cups of coffee, this are the points I would make:

1.  Chill.  Step back for some time from the overwhelmingly emotional day you had loading up all your quilts. Take a lot of deep breaths, my dear.

I am!!  And thank you for the reminder!

2.  What to do first: Use the storage shelves you had in Walberg and reload them with the quilts, separating out yours from the antiques as you go. You know how much space they required previously so even if you put them in the garage with a sheet over them temporarily, you have them all in one place for the moment. This will give you a sense that you have done SOMETHING with them to give you time to think.

I am in the process now, but not using those shelves as they have already been repurposed for something else. Right now the quilt stacks are in the living room!

3. You are a quilt professional. You have name recognition. You know other professionals who know people. Ask for advice. (e.g. Contact Julie Silber re the antique collection.) Am sure  word will also get out of your desire to “do something” with all you have and in the near future viable possibilities will present themselves. Just wait a bit for the best answers .  You have time. This does not have to be decided by next week. Think of it as letting a quilt design foment in your mind. Who knows what interesting projects are still ahead for all those unique quilts.

I spent time this weekend reaching out to family.  Several have responded and are thrilled with the gift of one of my own quilts.  I have asked if they have color preferences. I am so excited that they are excited.  There is something comforting in knowing that these quilts are still within the hands of family. That I know where they are.

I have also contacted friends who are very into antique quilts, and some have found places to go to. And that makes me happy that they are so thrilled.

Others that I'm not viscerally attached to can be placed for sale at Quiltville Inn.  I want to minimize shipping - it's so very expensive and cost prohibitive any more.

4. You are a working artist and your quilts are your professional assets. You have many more years ahead of you. This is not the time to get rid of a lifetime's work.  I have no idea what your financial situation is with regards to the next 25 years but remember your work is not that of a hobby-maker. You are not just a highly productive guild member, you are BONNIE K. HUNTER. I know you must be exhausted, frustrated, overwhelmed and in general suffering like all of us from months of isolation from your previous wider world but do not give in! Hang on to who you are and what you have accomplished so far through much hard work and dedication. Now is the time to keep your professional ego intact. Quilts and up-cycling are big now. The world is ripe for what you have to offer.

Thank you for this.  I will keep it in mind.  It's easy when others in the quilting world understand the value of a handmade quilt - even one that has been published, or has hung in museum exhibits or international quilt shows - but the lay people out there, the non-quilting people - to them it can be just a blanket that doesn't match their dΓ©cor or their couch.  That's where my heart hits the pit of my stomach.  That I could donate something that I have put my life and livelihood into and it ends up not being appreciated. Or outdated.

Do you know what I mean?  No one wants their art to be relegated to the status of "Oh, that old thing my aunt made me."

5.  Your amazing quilt making has made you very marketable. Why do you think the tour company is so happy to use you?! You sell! That may seem a rude observation but it is true. You must do the same for your family's benefit. You will still be loved and admired if you push forward earning recompense for your artistic efforts. People are anxious to spend $12.00 for a pattern so why must you be expected to give away the actual quilt? Nothing at all wrong with generosity but sometimes only a thin line separates a generous spirit from leaving oneself open to being taken advantage of. Go slow with these suggestions. Of course you probably have things you can cull to dispose of to friends, fans and good causes, but keep your major and best work intact for the future. Please don’t accept the fallacy the women’s work has no monetary value. Consider what the situation would be if you were BEN K. HUNTER. Take some pages out of the male playbook and put yourself out there strongly, not apologetically.

Point well taken!

6.  Keep making. You know you have to :-). It is who you are. There are masterpieces ahead. They come from doing the work just as you have been. You are not finished. Sometimes when I read your blog comments about what goes through your head I feel you have taken the words right out of my own mouth. Obviously there are many others who feel the same way. We all share a beautiful obsession which, frankly, is how I keep sane most of the time. It will be the end of us if we give it up no matter how many comments we get from “outsiders” who are non-participants. All artists have to learn to live with this from people who are not creative makers.

I know I can't let my anxiety keep me from making more quilts. It's like telling me not to breathe. As you said I am not finished!

7.  Focus right now on getting your moving, fixing and selling out of the way and off your mind first. That is a project with a near completion date. You will free up head space for solving your professional conundrums which are your serious business and will take the rest of your life. Step back, slow down and  go piece by piece as much as you can. Just like making a scrappy quilt. You won’t know till you finish just what it will all look  like.

Thank you so much!  I am reminding myself to breathe each time I feel that knot in the pit of my stomach start to take over. I will keep repeating to myself "Baby steps still move me forward..." 

I sincerely apologize for overstepping the line with this unsolicited letter but after reading blog comments I felt a different point of view might be useful. Your thinking has been of great benefit to me so this is just my way of trying to repay by sharing from my experience.

Do not apologize! Your care and concern and words of wisdom are the only things making sense to me right now with all of the calls of "Donate to the homeless, the women's shelter, the Navajo Nation, the people who lost everything in floods, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes"  And frankly, I'd rather make a monetary donation to those organizations so they get what they really need rather than sending quilts I have spent thousands of hours and how much cost for fabric on.

Does that make me selfish?  NO!  I could purchase warm blankets by the dozens for just what the fabric in one quilt costs.  I could cover many, instead of one person that way.  Sending complex quilts like my mystery quilts to people who don't appreciate or understand the value of a quilt is not the answer I need.

The quilts I am most proud of - the ones with thousands of pieces and thousands of hours in the designing, cutting, stitching, quilting, binding - Those are the prom dresses of my quilting life.  Giving a prom dress to a person in a homeless shelter is just not the right way to really help the situation. I hope that doesn't sound crass to anyone. I hope you understand my meaning.

Donating my quilts for other organizations to raffle off?  I'm just not there yet.  Family & Friends First is where I am going with this. And then we will see, but as you said, it doesn't have to happen this week.

Time solves most everything if you stay observant. Take each crisis a day at a time and things sort themselves out. Don’t loose track of yourself amidst the chaos.

Again, thank you so much! My main reason for posting your words of wisdom is that I know others can benefit from them too. And they will remain here in the blog archives any time I need to come back to them to remind myself of all of this.  ALL. OF. THIS.

Oh and that chewed up string quilt?  I folded it small and put it in the back of the van while reloading things that I wanted to go to Quiltville Inn.

And look what I found:


Zoey - on the folded up string quilt, making herself fit somehow!


You crazy, sweet girl!

Over the weekend as I have heard back from aunts, nieces, nephews and cousins I have been washing their designated quilts to get ready for shipping.

This is also going to give me the opportunity to photograph and document each one. 

Does anyone have a poem or a verse or a statement to include with a gifted quilt on how it should be loved, used and cherished - and not to be put on a shelf in a closet and forgotten?  

There has to be something out there.

I'll share the quilts as I wash and photograph them along with who they are going to.  


Baby steps can move mountains!

In the mean time:
I want to thank everyone for the tremendous response to the PDF pattern release of September Sky and Spider & The Fly!

Thank you thank you thank you!

I have placed BOTH patterns in the digital pattern section of the Quiltville Store at 25% off the regular price with no coupon needed.

The introductory pricing is good through 9/30/21 and will revert back to full on 10/1/21.

If this is your first time downloading digital patterns from my store to a computer click HERE.

If you intend to download to an iPhone/iPad click HERE.

Save even more!

Purchase BOTH in the September Sky Pattern Bundle and save an extra discount! 

This bundle is a limited time only offer, and will be retired on 10/1/21.  So hurry!

And while I have you here - I want to remind you of this little Gift-Away for you and a friend!

I will be gifting away a September Sky Pattern Bundle AND a Facets of black color roll from Cotton to Quilts

And our winner gets to choose a friend who will also receive the pattern bundle and a black color roll!

Fabric prizes must be shipped to a USA address.  If you are outside of the USA and win, you may have the fabric prizes shipped to a friend within the USA who can forward them on to you.

Head on over to the release post for more info and get your entry in.  We'll be drawing for our winner this coming Saturday, September 25th, 2021!


I have also marked my Appalachian Autumn PDF pattern at 25% off through September!

The sale price will remain through September 30th, and revert to full on October 1st, 2021.  Don't miss out!

Now that I got all of THAT out - how was your weekend? 


Quiltville Quote of the Day -

The most important things we will ever accomplish may be within the walls of our own homes.
If you still have your parents, call them, forgive them, love them. The same thing with your siblings. Any rift deserves a try at mending.
Reach out and talk to your children. Life is busy, and we always think we have more time.
The fact is, we don't. We really don’t.⁣
This is the one and only double wedding ring quilt I ever made. I unearthed it in the Great 2021 Quilt Relocation that happened this weekend.
I started it around 1985 when I was 23. The embroidery on the back says BKH V (Roman numeral 5, I thought I was so cool. LOL) 1987 as the finish date.
What I wish I could tell that 25 year old now. And how does time fly by so fast?⁣

I'll be sharing more of these quilts as I unfold and examine and decide with to do with them.

Happy Monday, folks!


 

101 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing "the letter". Your friend sends wise words as well as the wise words you offered in your commentary. As we age, I th8nk these concepts become clearer to each of us. Sometimes crash8ng in with a bang like when your "great quilt move" happened or slowly like a few more gray hairs. My 20 years your senior gives me a bit of experience in looking back as I know even though I hope there are more years ahead, I also know I don't have 25 years in the future to create...to plan...to hope. Breathe is often what I say to myself when this reality washes over me. Live and bless others as much as possible everyday for that is what we are given.

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    1. 100 % agree. We tend to forget we are artists with value and worth. The friends words made a big impact on me today, too.

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  2. Hello Bonnie I look forward to reading your blog every day. I found this anonymous poem and put it on a quilt I made for my mother years ago. It may not be exactly what you are looking for but I really love the sentiment.
    Love is a quilt - a quilt is love…
    Both love and a quilt should be:
    Soft enough to comfort you,
    Bright enough to cheer you,
    Generous enough to enfold you,
    Light enough to let you move freely,
    Strong enough to withstand adversity,
    Durable enough to last a lifetime,
    And given gladly from the heart.

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    1. This is a beautiful poem! I will have to keep it and include when I gift a quilt. Thank you for sharing, allikatquilts!

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    2. Thank you for sharing this poem. I have saved it and will include it with quilts made for gifting. As Bonnie says not everyone appreciates the heart and love that goes into making a quilt.

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  3. I'm not seeing my posts lately, have i offended? Cats in Carlsbad CA

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    1. LOL, apparently not... FINALLY have sent Appalachian Autumn to long-armer! Oh people, do make this, it's so beautiful and such fun!... Love the letter of "advice" -- like a sit-down with an old friend and cup of tea... not to be in whelm (or even over-whelm), just moving along, if you can't part with it? don't. Breath dear Bonnie, you do so much for all of us, take care of you !!! Hugs, prayers & blessings, Cats in Carlsbad CA

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  4. The blogs this weekend have been on my mind. This is something I need to do. It is so hard. Thanks for the good advice.

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  5. Thank you for sharing the letter you received. There are so many things to think about and I will reread it again and make some notes. I often get comments from family about having too many quilts and they try to cajole/shame/encourage me into selling them. I especially will think more about point #5 and taking a page from the male handbook!

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  6. I think Zoey is trying to tell you something about Sadie's quilt .... maybe keep it for the fur babies .....
    That letter is perfect for you and the rest of us with so many quilts. Thank you to whoever wrote it!

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    1. That was the first thought I had too. Bonnie and Dave love their furbabies and their furbabies love her quilts. Having all the furbabies enjoying the same quilt creates an amazing treasure of memories.

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    2. Zoey is telling you that Angel Sadie is with you, today and always.

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    3. That was my thought too! It could be Zoey’s quilt, in her dog bed. Yes! Just appliquΓ© patch it Bonnie, machine sew the binding down. She’s telling you something, Mom!

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    4. MY thoughts also. Zoey has probably picked up Sadie's scent which has been in your house already so she is feeling close to Sadie. Patch the damaged parts - don't wash it- and give it to Zoey as her own comfort quilt.

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    5. I was thinking the same thing when I saw Zoey on the folded quilt. That one should be saved for your fur babies…

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    6. I was thinking the same thing, Zoey needs that quilt. For the others take your time making a decision.

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  7. Bonnie, Dogs sense alot.....Zoey is telling you she wants that quilt she is laying on. She doesn't care that it was chewed on; this is her way of telling you she wants it for her own and everything will be ok. Paula in KY

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  8. Bonnie: have you discussed the idea of gifting any of your quilts to one or several of the quilt museums? They could have several displays with just your quilts…..I would attend in a heart beat. Not sure how that all works - but I would think it is a definite possibility. You are a celebrity to anyone who quilts - take advantage of that gift - we would all love to see those beautiful quilts in person.

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    1. This is exactly what I was thinking.. thank you Cindy B for mentioning. Bonnie you are a quilt professional, though you may not think your quilts are "museum quality". This would be a way for your magnificent quilts to be seen and enjoyed by the public for generations to come. Reach out to several museums, I would think they would welcome a few quilts made by you.

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  9. Sound advise from this unnamed quilter. I see some of my favorite quilts in those stacks, Bonnie. We just moved and the overwhelm is real. All we can do is take one day at a time and do the best we can. Good luck with the sorting and decision making!

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  10. Your friend was right take the time you need to part with you quilt treasures. My daily inspriation is your blog and this one is no differant. I love the picture of Zoey laying on Sadie's quilt. It brought tears to my eyes. To me it was like a passage of love and connection from your loved Sadie to Zoey.

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  11. Bonnie, I think Zoey is telling you what to do with Sadies quilt.
    I would mend the binding and patch the holes with string hearts firSadie and Zoey.
    The quilt is a treasure from one beloved pet to another.
    Doesn’t have to be done today, Zoey has already made it hers.
    Love those babies…… Barb

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  12. I can't remember where I recently saw this idea but I thought it was a good one. Perhaps it might work for you. I was specifically thinking of the quilt the was chewed on. The idea gal cut useable parts into squares (not the squares that originally made up the quilt). These blocks looked like how did you ever piece that. But these were her new blocks. She used the in a new quilt, she used them as new background squares appliquing something in the center or however you want. This might have been an episode on Quilting Arts.

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  13. Thank you for this post. I'm going through a transition that sometimes overwhelms me like this. Baby steps will get me through to a new place. Thanks.

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  14. What a great email! If I was local to you I would patch up that quilt for Zoey; she has claimed it. Maybe someone at the retreat center can fix it for her. Another idea is you could use it as a teaching tool at the Inn on doing repairs. One repair a session and it would get done after a while. Most is hand work you could do during an evening visit even.

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  15. What a wise, helpful and wonderful letter. Thank you for sharing it.

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  16. Baby steps are always the best. Everyone’s emotions are a bit in a turmoil…it will get better with each day. The emotional isolation has been the worst part of the last two years. It to will get better with time.πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•

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  17. Is Zoey curled up on the quilt Sadie ate? I think that's a sign. It's a quilt for your all dogs past, present, & future.

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    1. If you haven’r washed it before, she probable smells the love Sadie had for it. Even if you don’t want to gift the whole quilt to Zoey, how about just part of it so she has her very own special quilt for her nap times?

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  18. When you give someone a gift of any kind, it becomes theirs. We know how we hope it is used but can no longer control that. Even if it is stored to protect it, how is that any different than you having it stored for many years? I like the verse on the previous post because it's more of a suggestion than a command. Your gift will be lived in each person's own unique way.

    Mary D.

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  19. Bonnie....love to start my day with your thoughts. I have to send this comment about “Sadie’s Contribution to Quilting”. I have a quilt that my “puppy” redid for me when she was a baby. I just put binding around the chewed out section. I keep it as one of the memories of this wonderful family member. I also have a wooden rocking chair from my childhood. The first dog that I ever loved chewed the front of one of the rockers over 60 years ago. The chair has been refinished a couple times but that chewed rocker is still as he chewed it. I remember that great “first puppy love” dog every time I see it. So you should not feel quilty about keeping this quilt as is but remember it as a loving reminder of Sadie and her “antics”. Thanks again for starting our days with your positive thoughts and wonderful pictures. (And, of course, for sharing Lola, Zoey, and Ivy with us.)

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  20. Great words of wisdom in that letter!

    I really enjoyed the photos of your beautiful, beautiful quilts. Sadie's string quilt is so lovely, damage and all. I need to use up some strings myself, and I like the way you set the blocks/sashes in that quilt.

    Looking forward to posts where you bring some of these out for show-and-tell again.

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  21. I think Zoey is telling you that she wants to keep Sadie's quilt. Maybe Sadie told Zoey it was OK to use it and keep it in the family.

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    1. My thoughts exactly. It looks like the right "family member" has claimed this one and she deserves it.
      Bonnie, just slow down. They have been stored for years and a little longer will not hurt anything. Have a blessed day!

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  22. Take Sadies quilt and make it into small Zoey and Lola quilts for them to snuggle on. After all it is already Zoey approved.

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  23. What a profoundly wise woman who sent you that e-mail. I'm not a world famous quilter like you, but I have quite a collection of quilts I've made. The thought of giving them away gives me anxiety beyond belief. But, the letter writer is right, you don't have to decide any of that, just yet. For now just store them in the guest room. Let them settle in. Apparently Zoey has just the right idea. Snuggle with them. One. at. a. time. And just enjoy their beauty.

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  24. I like what that letter to you said. It covers your situation very well. Just to boost your happy Monday I have a friend named Jarrod who took a wife.they've been married 17 or 18 years yes I will be using that pattern for a quilt for them

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  25. I rarely go back and read comments so had no idea the "instructions" you were receiving.

    Follow your heart. Enjoy the time with each of these quilts and take those walks down memory lane as you review your life's work....after all, they ARE your life's work that has paid your bills and pays for Quiltville Inn and pays for groceries.

    This letter is fabulous and a good reminder for all of us as we make our way through the transitions in our own lives.

    Wishing you a Blessed day Bonnie. Hugs from Idaho! (Goooooo Broncos!)

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  26. Amen to that letter!!!!

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  27. thank you so much for sharing the letter from your friend. it helped me and i'm sure will help others. thank you to that person also. i think zoey has claimed the quilt. it seems appropriate somehow and maybe she can sense the connection. to me the best advice given is 'it doesn't have to be decided today'. i told my dh the other day - 'even if i can't use up all the fabric and quilts i have, they have given me immense pleasure, opened up new friendships and been so important for my sanity.' my charity group will help disperse the fabric. thanks again for all you do. now i have to find purples (or maybe red)for a quilt. hugs, patti in florida

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  28. Wash me gentle, wash me cold. Hang me out so I'll grow old!
    ~~~
    I am a quilt -- plain and simple, a quilt is a blanket made with love. I need to be used and, on occasion, I will need to be washed. That's okay, I can take it. As a matter of fact, washing me just makes me softer and more cuddly. You can hand me on a wall to decorate, or you can put me away for safe keeping, but I would rather be used. For me, the quilt, being used is better than being packed away somewhere in a dark closet. Safely tucking you in at night is where I really want to be. The person who made me expects me to be used and enjoyed. When needed, I can be washed in cold water (or warm if I've been used for fun, messy stuff). Even though I'm 100% cotton, I do not like bleak. I can go in the dryer, but at medium or permanent press, please, not hot. I like if you hang me on the line when I am damp to finish drying if you can, if not, that's all right. Just remember, every stitch on me was made with love. Enjoy me!!
    Sincerely, Your Quilt. (author unknown)

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    1. Oh, my gosh. That should read "I do not like bleach." Although, I'm sure quilts don't like bleak any more than the rest of us. LOL

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  29. I'm glad to read the letter. Good points. I was going to suggest a book made of pictures and the story of the Quilts you give away to family. Maybe make a new label for the quilt to them. It's a daunting process! I need to sort my quilt collection to Gift to my family. A tag on each one, for when I'm no longer here.

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  30. Bonnie another random thought about your quilts that you are thinking about giving away. After you give to family and friends have you thought about donating a few to quilting museums. I'm sure they would be thrilled to have one of your quilts and you know they would be taken care of and enjoyed by lots of other quilters. As your friend said you are BONNIE K HUNTER and a quilting legend. Your work needs to be preserved.

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  31. I guess you found what you should do with the Sadie chewed up quilt. It belongs to Zoey, just the way it is.

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    1. Maybe patch it enough to keep it safe from repeated washings. Yes, Sadie passed this on to Zoey!

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  32. Bonnie...The one thing I keep thinking as I have read about your recent injuries, home improvement projects, moving and discovery...is that you have been blessed with time! You were to be traveling during this time, but aren't, and thus your schedule has been freed up from busy retreats for now. That is a God thing for certain...time to deal with all this without added distractions of busy Quiltvillians. Grateful is the word that comes to my mind. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

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  33. Bonnie, you are a needed treasure !! I feel your love and inspiration each day. Even tho we have not yet met , I would know you !! You are in my heart to stay!!!

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  34. Zoey claimed her quilt. Gave me nose prickles, a sure sign I am about to cry.

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  35. Bonnie, once you breathe a bit, select the quilts you wish to keep for yourself & have sent those you select for family members, you might consider offering some quilts for sale to those of us who read your blog daily. You could price them properly (we all know how much work goes into one of your quilts) with a picture & hold an auction with a minimum price listed. This way, the quilts will go to people who will appreciate them & allow some of us to own an original “Bonnie K. Hunter” quilt. I’m sure there are others in this group who will agree. Just let us know when you’re ready to sell them. Hugs to you!

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  36. Thank you for sharing the letter. Seems like a tidal wave hit you when you saw all the guilts together in one place on top of the huge job off closing out your previous home and getting it ready to sell. Yup, just breathe sounds too simple to work but it does. You are still standing! I have been following your bog only since the Covid shut down so I am anxious to see more of those quilts. Sending you love & a hug and gratitude for the blog.
    Susan

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  37. The letter was perfect. Stop and breathe. Don't make any decisions except what needs to happen now. Selling your house and getting all that done is enough right now.

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  38. Wonderful letter - thank you for sharing it will us!! I quite agree with Julie C - looks like Zoey has claimed the Sadie-ate-me quilt!! It is obviously infused with doggie love.

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  39. You could certainly make that quilt into a bed cover for Zoey’s bed(s) as it appears that she would tell you that in words if she could. After reading your post about the quilts and your preparations to get your house ready to sell, I’ve been thinking about what it must be like to be Bonnie Hunter. The list of accomplishments and life changing events is lengthy. You’ve lived a full life and you have the loveliest baggage to show for it, so I hope you’ll give yourself room to embrace 😳 the emotional upheaval that leaving a family home and way of life it created in addition to downsizing and establishing a new living system that works for you in your new home as you complete the moving in process. You’ve been in transition for years as you’ve changed homes (cabins), opened Quiltville Inn and PO in the midst of teaching and then Covid. You’ve said goodbye to family and pets, your life as a traveling teacher (for a time?) and suffered some significant injuries as well, yet you’ve continued to enjoy life through several avenues and you keep moving ahead. Sometimes life just rattles our brains with too much to decide, too much to plan and so much to do. I do know it’s best to deal with what’s before you as it presents itself if you can rather than “putting it on a shelf” for another time, although there are those times when it pays to think on things for an extra minute to be sure you feel good about your choices. Life is an adventure and I think life experiences are a gift worth sharing. No doubt many of us can relate and we wish you the best as you move ahead with clearing out your house and transition to a slightly different version of your professional self as well. I hope a year from now we see a more settled version of life for you and your family. Thanks for sharing as you go, you’ve helped me to see that I am a strong woman and I’ve accomplished much in my lifetime - much like you - only with waaay fewer quilts! πŸ˜‰

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  40. Great post, Thank you! Oldie but goodie...When this you see, think of me.
    I have used on a few gifted quilts.

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  41. That letter you received are the words of all the quilters' you inspire on a daily basis. It is not at all to be overwhemed at times, time, rest & contemplation will resolve your questions & worry. Sending love & ease of mind.

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  42. Cats in Carlsbad, I saw one from you a couple weeks ago. Love reading your posts to Bonnie. I worry about you when you don’t post. Stay safe and healthy. ❤️

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    1. Cats, I too, miss your posts. Keep 'em coming!

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  43. As soon as I saw that quilt ,I thought I could never part with it ,then the picture of Zoey on it ! I had tears .Please keep it as is and name it Sadie. Then gift it to Zoey!πŸ’œπŸ’™πŸ’šπŸ§‘πŸ’›

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  44. I don't think anyone could have given you better advise or said it better. Sounds as if she knows you well and knows how to give good sound advise. Remember you are not to do or make any important decisions on a whim, take your time and think about it. You said yourself you didn't want a quilt to wind up with someone who doesn't appreciate it. I had that happen once and learned a valuable lesson from it. Now I am very selective as to who I make quilts for and I am only a hobby quilter and not someone well known like you but some of my family think the quilts I do are great and that is all that counts. Go slow. Do either of your sons want any, what about your parents, your sister in law that you seem to love. Again go slow don't rush the process and be sorry down the line when it is to late.

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  45. Thank you for sharing the letter and your thinking! Those are wise words for all of us to keep in mind. I rushed through my parents estate sale many years ago, and have so regretted some of the things I didn't keep.

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  46. Thank you for sharing the letter, Bonnie, and I loved your analogy of the prom dress.

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  47. I love the metaphor about giving a prom dress to a homeless person. It is important to consider the real value of gifts, their purpose and value to the recipients. I'll remember this analogy when gifting my quilts. Thank you.

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  48. Have you thought of auctioning one of your quilts off on your blog? This would be a great way to raise money for an organization you want to support but would also give one of your followers a chance to own one of your quilts. As you said, then you can help the organization more than if you just donated the quilt to them.

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  49. It doesn’t fit all situations but I love this one.

    It's Your Quilt

    It's OK if you sit on your quilt.
    It's OK if your bottle gets spilt.
    If you swallow some air
    And you burp, don't despair,
    It's OK if you spit on your quilt.

    There are scraps old and new in your quilt,
    Put together for you on your quilt.
    If your gums feel numb
    'Cause your teeth haven't come}
    It's OK if you chew on your quilt.
    We expect you to lie on your quilt,
    If you hurt you may cry on your quilt.
    On a cold rainy night,
    Don't you fret, you're all right,
    You'll be snug, warm and dry on your quilt.


    author-- Nancy Riddell

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    1. That is one of my favorite "quilt poems".

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  50. Your blog today gave me much food for thought. I think your feelings about donating quilts to charities are spot on. Thank you for explaining it so well. You do such wonderful work and give so much of your time to other quilters. I started following your blog as a new quilter many years ago and have learned so much from you. Thank you again.

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  51. As I age I've been thinking about how my quilts are my legacy. I have no children but many loved ones! Your friend gave great advice, Bonnie! And congratulations on listening to the feeling in the pit of your stomach! Big love to Cats in Carlsbad, too! Wish I could come to your house and visit!!

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  52. "Friends, like quilts, give comfort when needed." A friend gave me this verse in a framed calligraphy. Simple but nice.

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  53. Enjoyed you post today. I have a lot of quilts too and get suggestions all the time for getting rid of them. I give one to each grandchild when they graduate from high school, one for a wedding quilt, one for special anniversaries. For our 50th anniversary we gave a quilt to each member of our wedding party and to each of our children. Still have to keep ones for graduations and weddings in the future. Enjoy your newsletters and read them start to finish. Thanks for all the time you put into them. Have a good day.

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  54. This was a great post. What a wonderful friend to validate everything that is important in your life. I found myself tearing up when I saw Zoey squeezed up on Sadie's blanket in the back of the van.

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  55. Bonnie, time is on your side...enjoy whatever time it takes to decide a plan for each quilt. Remembering the time it takes to create a quilt from design to finish and give the same to its end. The lovely letter is a wonderful guide; peaceful. Cats, yes I too have missed your lovely messages....nice as always to hear your words of encouragement. Bonnie, enjoy cuddle time with all your quilts as Fall approaches. Warm your heart with all of your beautiful accomplishments. Everything in its time.

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  56. It looks like Zoey has claimed the quilt that needs mending. Why not just make it hers?! :) I love that letter you have above. That person is so thoughtful and makes herself understood in a way I can't. Bless her for giving you such good insight. Happy sewing. :)

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  57. If you Google, there are all kinds of Quilt Quotes, I Googled "Quilt Label Sayings and Quotes for All Occasions."

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  58. Even before reading the comments, and after seeing Zoey cuddled up on the quilt, I thought that she can smell Sadie's smells, and thinks it is hers to lay upon.
    What I did after my beloved golden chewed holes in two quilts ... I stuffed batting in the holes, placed pieces on front and back, hand basted, then used DM or LA to darn those patches in place. First one I had to applique edges down first, second one I used circles (because bias doesn't ravel) and LA * (multi-pointed stars) in them. They have both been washed several times since and have held up well. If I were repairing your quilt I would do the same, using deliberately mismatched patches on the holes, and redoing the binding with closely matching blue. That's just me. I also think Zoey needs that quilt. I love all your quilts, have made more than half the mysteries, some of the free patterns, and some of the leader enders. Have all your books, and love them all. Thank you for all you do. After putting in my 2 cents, I say, FOLLOW YOUR HEART!

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  59. I've been thinking about your quilt dilemma all weekend, while mulling the fact that I make all kinds of charity quilts and Judaic fabric art heirlooms -- for other people. But the resident quilter here has no quilts for her family. Given my health issues (even though I just turned 60), I need to do something about this now.

    And, when I'm in a melancholy, contemplative mood, I crank up the Hamilton soundtrack. This time, what jumped out at me was legacy.

    What do I want it to be? Do I care about my legacy as someone who devoted time and money to good causes (lately, mask making and charity quilts)? Do I want a great-grandchild I'll never meet to cuddle in a quilt I made and get a glimpse of me? How do I balance both?

    It's a lot to sit with, and it involves tears on my part, too. Take your time.

    Your quilts, designs and generosity of time, spirit and talent have brought joy to so many. That's a fine way to start, and hopefully that will help you shape your decisions going forward.

    Sending you all the best wishes!

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  60. Bonnie, to get an idea about recording your quilts, Pat Sloan is going thru that as well on her site and she is creating a gallery and then she decides what to do with the quilt, keep, donate, sell, family, etc.... I just retired a couple of weeks ago, and folks keep asking what I'm going to do now, I don't know and it's causing me a bit of stress too. that letter speaks to me as well so I will breathe and take a bit at a time. and Cats from Carlsbad, love to see your posts! from a fellow Californian. Janet B.

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  61. I've used this poem a few times but I don't know who wrote it.
    It is geared more towards kids, but the last 4 lines would work for everyone:

    This quilt is made of cloth and thread
    To place upon your little bed.
    It's not an heirloom just to keep,
    But to lay upon as you count sheep.

    Or perhaps the floor's the perfect place
    For a doll and teddy picnic space.
    This quilt can be anything you can dream-
    From superman's cape to the robe of a queen.
    Pretend it's a raft adrift at sea,
    Or just cuddle up when you watch TV.

    So use it up and wear it out-
    I promise I won't yell or pout.
    Just tell me when its days are through,
    And I'll make another, just for you.

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  62. Bonnie, a quilter friend of mine by the name of Jane Flinn graciously shared her poem for "Baby's Quilt". When she moved away she said we could gladly share her poem. Here it is:
    Baby's Quilt
    I'm not an heirloom, I 'm only made from scraps
    No fancy patterns on my front and nothing on my back.
    Please don't put me in a box or hang me on the wall!
    I want to hug and snuggle while baby is still small.
    We can play peek-a-boo and other games you know
    Or go outside and go sliding in the snow.
    Just throw me in the back seat so I'm there to keep you warm
    So you can grab me and wrap up in case there is a storm.
    I will hug and love you and we will have a lot of fun
    When we go out to play in the summer sun.
    Let me be a snuggly, lug-around quilt always close at hand
    And I will carry out the purpose for which I was planned.

    Thank you for being you.

    Joyce

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  63. This blog today has been wonderful, from your friends letters to all the bloggers, yes, I read everyone of them and enjoyed them all. I have moved 3 times in the last 5 years and down sized all three times. This time I have just what I need and don’t need to down size. This time is easier. Not getting rid of any fabric this time. I was so overwhelmed the first time I could hardly think, then I talk it over with the LORD and we decided to just take a corner of one room at a time and go thru it. It became easier as time went on (yes I had several months to make these decisions), I really accomplished a lot. When I got moved I made a deal with myself to unpack 4 boxes each day until I was done. It worked very well. I wasn’t overwhelmed anymore and accomplished a lot each day. I would finish the house for sale first and think about everything else later. It will be waiting when you are ready to handle doing it. Really enjoy all your blogs. God bless you. I’ll be praying for you. Have a wonderful Monday. Ratchell, from TN .

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  64. Bonnie, referring to comment #14, I think that if the quilt's reminding you of Sadie is not a hurtful memory, as you did have so many good years together, that patching and sharing with Zoey would be a good thing, animals sense things, even Dogs.
    Love your blog, have withdrawals on Sundays, but understand the need for a media-free day.
    Just keep in mind that your quilts are part of your teaching aids and quilt shops can still use them as demos. I think that any suggestions as to leaving quilts to charities is something that you should let your survivors think about in the very distant future.

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  65. This was a great blog post and comments today. All I can say is that you are such an inspiration Bonnie! I love your blogs and quilts!

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  66. I LOVE the words that your friend sent you in that letter. How sweet of her to take the time and really think about what she wanted to say. I hope you take all of her words to heart. She is so many wonderful things to say and agreed with them all. Take care Bonnie and baby steps.❤️

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  67. Since you started blogging about your quilts and what you should do with them it has gotten me thinking about mine, though not as many as yours. I find that if I start out making a quilt for someone it's not hard at all to give it away. It's the ones that I make just because I want to that are getting hard to know what to do with. I always said I would just keep them and my kids and grandkids could fight over them when my time on this earth was done. Well, my son passed away almost two years ago and he was the one that wanted them all. My daughter isn't all that crazy about quilts. Sometimes I think I should just put a little note on each one with measurements & care instructions, lay them out on the bed at Christmas and let each one pick one. But then I'd miss my quilts. It's tough, but like the lady that wrote to you said, there's time.

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  68. Tricia in Melbourne, Australia
    I love reading your blogs. I have a quilt my wonderful Aunt made about 25 years ago and I love it. I didn't start making quilts myself until I broke a bone in my foot about 10 years ago, now you can't stop me. My first quilt was a sample quilt, made from bits of everything I had in the cupboard , doilies my mother and my aunt had hand embroidered many years ago and all sorts of bits a pieces. Then I made two for my two grandsons. Then I started making boys quilts,(because I had lots of boy type of material, collected over the years) and I donate them to our Royal Children's Hospital for Kid's with cystic fibrosis, some they give to siblings of the sick children. They certainly don't compare with your beautiful quilts, but this is the only way I can let them go.This year I have been making a quilt for my husband working out the design as I go along. With so many lock downs in the last 2 years it had been hard to shop for quilting supplies. cheers

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  69. I'm traveling but had to borrow a friend's laptop and see the beautiful stack of quilts on a screen larger than my cell! I'm so glad someone more gifted than me wrote you about your quilts. I agree with what she said. My blood pressure rose reading the suggestions for you to "gift" your quilts to homeless, etc. I live in an area with zero opportunities for antique quilt shopping and have purchased a couple of them online when bloggers have auctions. I suspect numerous ones of us would be happy to pay postage to purchase one of your quilts, especially when we live across the country and doubt we will ever get to see Quiltville Inn in person. Your job is unique and I agree with and encourage you to take your time disposing of your quilts. I'm glad family want some of them. I suspect some of your family may enjoy more than one quilt! Lisa, AK

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  70. My 2 cents worth is usually just that... Thanks for sharing the letter. So much to deal with in a short space during the LONG journey. Please give a little time for the overwhelmed feeling to calm. Letting go is necessary and a wonderful feeling happens when you DO let go. Just make sure you don't flood by opening the spillway on the dam!!!! And me??? I think Sadie has whispered in Zoey's ear and told her she is glad you have another fur baby in your life that you love so very much. That quilt smells like love. Dogs KNOW these things. Blessings to you Bonnie, and prayers for peace and calm!

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  71. so it seems that Sadie has solved your problem of what to do with the quilt - she has gifted it to Zoey. How appropriate, from one dog to another. Sadie knew another dog would need it in the future. Now it's Zoey's quilt.
    from Suzanne in Australia

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  72. Thank you for sharing “THE email.” It spoke volumes to me. I appreciate the answer in every bullet point. I’m glad we have great minds asking for assistance and sharing with each other in our quilting world.

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  73. Maybe you should give the quilt that Sadie chewed to Zoey- looks like she chose it for herself!

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  74. What is the postage stamp pattern in the cover photo? Lower right hand? I just love seeing all these neatly folded quilts....like a good fantasy dream!

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  75. thank you for being so vulnerable, and sharing with your many quilting friends! We are all stronger together. Peace

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  76. This is a beautiful and poignant blog post, Bonnie. I can feel your angst and love the letter of advice your dear friend gave to you. We all need to take our time to breathe, take baby steps, and see where we go from "here". As to the quilt that Sadie ate, I agree with all of those who said, Zoey claimed it as hers. Let her have it. You will love knowing that Sadie is watching over Zoey and comforting her always. That quilt is a family heirloom, and should remain so. Thanks, Bonnie, for the inspiration you offer so freely.

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  77. Thank you for sharing the letter. I am a very generous person naturally. It is easy for me. I even took in a homeless man for a few months. Lost $$$. Learned. That letter was a very well stated reminder of why some of my most-cherished possessions are things like those two polyester quilts my grandmother made. They are too hot for me to use. And who wants polyester? But they were made carefully with the fabric that she had. They probably have an old blanket as the batting. And they are machine quilted! long before it was a thing! She didn't have a lot of time. And the strength of the stitch was not lost on her. It is ok to honor our loved ones. We are humans afterall.

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  78. Thank you for sharing that. I have given nearly all of my work away, original or not. So I don't have the quilts to go through or give. Sadly, most of my work was not photographed, or the photos have been lost. (Where were those digital cameras in the early '80's?)
    As for Sadie's chewed quilt, when I saw Zoey on it I got thinking maybe Zoey would like to have that quilt? Just a thought, what you ultimately do with that quilt is up to you.
    Sending loads of hugs and love, those are hard decisions for sure!

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  79. Re: your Sadie quilt. I had the same thing happen with a quilt my daughter's sweet little dachshund chewed on. When she crossed the rainbow bridge, I hand stitched a patch of canvas on the back of the quilt and carefully tucked in, as best I could, the raggedy edges where the "love bites: happened. Those were stitched to hold then to that canvas on the back of the quilt. We love that we can still use the quilt and smile when we see where little Stanzi "loved" the quilt.

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  80. Such wisdom in that letter to you. Such love. Thank you for sharing this with all who read and will read your blog. Being still is a difficult thing to do, but so worth it in the end. I have no doubt that you will figure out what is best for you. Such wisdom in that letter. Such love.

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  81. Great advice. When I gift a quilt I usually put on the label that it is a "Hug" quilt. When you are having a hard time wrap this quilt around you and know that you are being hugged by me (or mom, dad, family, etc.) Keep on keeping on. Hurrying doesn't always help us make the best decisions.

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  82. Pre-covid, I donated three crocheted blankets to an Early Alert Canines fundraiser and bam bam bam they all sold that evening, for hundreds of dollars. What a feeling to have somebody want something I created, and to have it benefit an organization I support. Even better, I was able to speak with two of the new owners, to hear their excitement and why they wanted my design, and to tell them about my creative process. However, I almost "flooded the market" by setting three items out. One item or two distinctly different items results in the best outcome for my cause. The only downside was my copy was (ahem) edited by a nonartisan person, an upside was I was allowed to set the minimum price. This could be an alternative for you (anything for the puppies!!) Or have any museums desired your works?

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  83. Bonnie. I do understand where you are at, in particular about gifted quilts not just being put away in a cupboard. I made and gifted a quilt to my bachelor farmer uncle for his 80th birthday. After he passes it came back to me. I thought he may have put it away in a cupboard, but it was absolutely filthy. I thought it may have been used as a dog blanket, but no, there were no hairs. It finally dawned on me that he had used it lots. Just what I had wanted. I put it in the bottom of the washing basket and that is where it stayed for about a year, as I didn’t know what yo do with it. In the end I gave it a long hot soak, repeated and then a long hot wash. Other than a couple of fabrics fading, it came up like new and now lives on our couch and I use it often. It is very special to me.

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